‘Disclose if you’ve converted…can’t take double benefits’: RSS
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said on Saturday that religious conversions must stop in the country, and individuals who change their faith should declare the same, according to news agency PTI. “There are people who get converted and do not disclose that they have converted. They take double benefits,” RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale informed at a press conference in Karnataka’s Dharwad.
Hosabale further stated that the opposition to anti-conversion laws by the members of the minority community is an “open secret.” “Increasing the number by any methods, fraudulent or other such methods cannot be accepted,” he added, while speaking at the conclusion of the three-day Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal (ABKM) meeting of the RSS in the southern state.
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The Sangh top leader claimed that over 10 Indian states have passed anti-conversion bills in India. He alleged that the Congress government led by chief minister Vidarbha Singh had passed the bill in Himachal Pradesh when the party was in power before the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruling dispensation. “In Arunachal Pradesh, it was the Congress government who did it (passed an anti-conversion bill). Gegong Apang was the chief minister,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
Drawing reference to former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Hosabale said that the BJP leader had urged to initiate a national debate on religious conversion. The RSS general secretary also stated that while every individual has the liberty to change their religion, “what is happening today is not that.”
Notably, three BJP-ruled states in the country – Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, have passed anti-conversion laws. Meanwhile, the Karnataka government, which is also led by the saffron party and is looking to introduce a similar bill into the state, has faced backlash from the Christian community. Bengaluru Archbishop recently termed the bill to be “unnecessary” and stated that it will disrupt the religious harmony in the state.
However, the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) had in February this year clarified in a response at the Parliament that the central government doesn’t plan to impose a nationwide anti-conversion law.
The Supreme Court in April had also quashed a plea seeking for a stringent law to regulate religious conversion in India, saying such a direction is “very harmful” and that every adult is free to choose their desired faith.